that have cured them ; such a doctor so many, such a medicine so many; but of all, the greatest number have found relief from the sudden deaths of their husbands. . . .5
The Opera begins the day after the King's birthday: the singers are not permitted to sing till on the stage, so no one has heard them, nor have I seen Amorevoli to give him the letter. The Opera is to be on the French system of dancers, scenes, and dresses. The directors have already laid out great sums. They talk of a mob to silence the operas, as they did the French players6; but it will be more difficult, for here half the young noblemen in town are engaged, and they will not be so easily persuaded to humour the taste of the mobility: in short, they have already retained several eminent lawyers from the Bear Garden to plead their defence. I have had a long visit this morning from Don Benjamin1: he is one of the best kind of agreeable men I ever saw: quite fat and easy, with universal knowledge: he is in the greatest esteem at my court.
I am going to trouble you with some commissions. Miss Rich8, who is the finest singer, except your sister9, in the world, has begged me to get her some music, particularly the office of the Virgin of the Seven Sorrows, by Pergolesi, the Seroa Padronq10, II Pastor se torna Aprile, and Sempli-cetta Pastorella. If you can send these easily, you will much oblige me. Do, too, let me know by your brother,
Townshend, and of Charles Townshend the statesman. She died in 1788.
6 Passage omitted.
6 At the Haymarket Theatre in October, 1738.
7 Benjamin Keene, Ambassador at Madrid. Walpole.—Twice Ambassador in Spain, 1727-39, 1748-57; Lord of Trade, 1742-44; Paymaster of the Pensions, 1744 ; Envoy Extraordinary to Lisbon, 1746-48 ; EL B., 1754. He died at Madrid in 1767,
when on the point of returning home to receive a pension and a peerage.
8 Elizabeth, eldest daughter of Sir Robert Bich, since married to Sir George Lyttelton. Walpole. — She married in 1749, but soon separated from, her husband ('who became Lord Lyttelton in 1756). She survived him, and died in 1795.
9 Mary, daughter of E. Mann Esq., since married to Mr. Foote. Walpole.
10 An opera by Pergolesi.